Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Down with the Sickness

On Monday, R flew to Miami for work. On Tuesday, a plague befell our home. On Wednesday and Thursday, I was racked with guilt as the Salad watched 13 straight hours of TV, while I disinfected every inch of the house. On Friday, I lost my mind. On Saturday, R came home to find me rocking in the corner, grinning insanely, lipstick smeared across my face.

I tell you these things, not so you feel sorry for me, although if ever there was a time to pity a person, surely being vomited on for 74 straight hours would be it. I tell you these things to provide background. So that someday, maybe 5 years from now, maybe 50 years from now, A reads this post and knows I am so proud to be her mommy.

For the first 2 days, she somehow managed to escape the stomach virus that brought the others to their knees, literally. And she took it upon herself to blow her brother's nose, hold back her sister's hair, fetch blankets, "run them a nice, warm bath" and make tea and toast for breakfast. I couldn't have asked for a more thoughtful and competent partner.

A was the Robin to my Batman, the Hardy to my Laurel.

She was my Florence Nightingale wrapped up in a 4 year old body.

That I am talking about a 4 year old surprises me.

That I am talking about my 4 year old amazes me.

You amaze me, little girl.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's hereditary

Something about the Dodge Durango has always reminded me of Falkor the Luck Dragon from The NeverEnding Story.

Clearly, my mind works in mysterious ways.

Clearly, so does his . . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Collection of Memories

* After gymnastics on Friday, we grabbed our gardening gloves and tools and headed down to Grammy's. We were about 10 minutes into weeding when Grammy grabbed what she thought was a stick. Turned out to be an 8" garter snake. And that was the end of gardening for us.

* We've been enjoying the spring like weather, digging in the dirt every chance we get. The other day, I asked M what he was mixing up after watching him throw dirt, small rocks and water into a bucket. "Concreek," he answered.

* We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday the first week of March. We made a "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" Venn diagram, using their hula hoops.

* On a recent car ride home from Grammy and Pop's, I stopped at a red light and peeked in the rear view mirror. M was counting the stickers that he has been collecting on his window for the last 2 years. S was drawing our family on her magna doodle and A was reading "If you take a Mouse to School." Our windows were down, breathing in 70 degree fresh air. Before they could realize it, I flipped off their kid's music CD and turned on Ani Difranco. I made it through 4 glorious songs before anyone even spoke. I freaking love times like that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Mulligan

M was doing a typical 4 year old "My PJs are lumpy, I want water, there was a light in my window, I hear a noise" crying thing the other night, right before bed. I just wanted my day to be over. I went in and said, "What do you want? Please go to bed! I'm not coming back in this room, so if you continue to cry, you will cry yourself to sleep." I heard my voice and immediately, I felt terrible. I felt even worse when he looked up and said in his tiny voice, "I'm sorry, Mommy. Are we still best friends?" I kissed away his tears and slunk out of the room.


I want a do-over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Luck of the (partially) Irish

The Salad woke up to green water in the toilets on St. Patrick's Day. I told them leprechauns must have used our bathrooms overnight. S told me I was the silliest mommy on earth. The marvels of green food coloring.

I had gone downstairs early this morning and dropped green food coloring into the bottoms of our clear milk glasses, so that when I poured their milks, the Salad thought it was magic. I truly LOVE this age. I also LOVE green food coloring.
We went to Giggle Gang after breakfast and made some clover crafts, while listening to a book about the day. Then I treated them to McDonald's for lunch. Like any Irish blooded American, we ordered a shamrock shake and took the obligatory one sip, before declaring it "gross." They always seem like such a great idea.

We soaked up every bit of the warm sunny day, searching for 4 leaf clovers on our lawn. When we didn't find any, M said we didn't need them anyway. "We were soooo lucky today because we saw a street sweeper on our block and got 4 extra chicken nuggets!"

Gotta go now . . . I'm giving the Salad a bath in a tub full of green water. And no, not with green food coloring.

Fat Patrick's Day

S and A weren't feeling so hot on Mardi Gras, so we stayed home from our usual Tuesday at the library. That was OK with me, since I'm too scared to tell our librarian that we "misplaced" a book on baseball that we borrowed. Seems it vanished into thin air, or gotten tossed out of a car window while driving on the highway, or flushed down the toilet, or left out in one of the many snowstorms we had this winter, or . . . well, the possibilities are endless.
But I digress, we stayed home. While our King's Cake was in the oven, the Salad decorated masks and I taught them about Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. They also know that St. Patrick's Day is coming up and A has been getting confused, asking when Fat Patrick's Day is. Cracks me up every time.

But I digress, we decorated masks. Then we colored some jesters and practiced our letters writing MARDI GRAS. Before lunch, we gathered a bag of clementines and candy and beads for our "parade" later in the afternoon. I taught them the words to "When the Saints Go Marching In." Of course that opened a can of worms I was unprepared for, when asked where do the saints march into?

But I digress, we learned the song. After quiet time, I asked them each to choose a dress up outfit and a musical instrument. Then we had our parade and I marched that Salad through every room of our house. I even marched them into the half bath in our master bedroom, herding them like cattle into a room measuring 3' x 3'. They laughed hysterically when I started throwing clementines, candy and beads at them, all the while singing and playing "When the Saints Go Marching In." It was at precisely this moment that our friends down the street knocked on our door to invite us to play, but we were singing so loudly that we didn't hear them. What must we have looked like to their nanny as she peeked in our window, me throwing fruit at a disorganized marching band of youngsters?

But I digress, we marched. We finished off Fat Patrick's Day with Bourbon Chicken, King's Cake and big smiles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Girl who Loves Food

I write on this blog as a way of remembering the little things. The minutiae of life with many small children. Often times I will write something they have said down on a scrap of paper and chuck it into a file on our desk. This weekend, while cleaning out that file, I noticed a trend. I ask A a question about anything, she answers about food. Me: What should we make with the play dough?
A: Turkey. And Mr. Golden Sunshine.

Me: What would you like to talk about?
A: Ummmmm, how about M & Ms?

R (drawing everyone pictures at the diner one morning): What would you like me to draw for you?
A: How about you draw hummus?

Me: Who wants to go to the movies?!
A: Can we have popcorn?

Friday, March 11, 2011

So, a Salad walks into a movie theater . . .

My parents and I took the Salad to see

while R was away in February. We went to a matinee on a Tuesday. The only other people in the theater were parents with preschool aged children. And thank goodness for that because at least they understood when M asked over and over and over and over if we "could leave now."

Oh M, Oh M, wherefore art thou, M?

Allow me to answer that . . .
you're in a theater, kid, now sit down and enjoy the movie, 'cause you're here till the end.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Very Merry UN-birthday

In the middle of January, we start getting antsy. It's frigid, not just cold. It's icy, not just snowy. So we pull out all the stops when looking at outings. R and I saw that Hagley Museum was hosting its annual Invention Convention. I thought M would go bananas to be allowed to use real tools to dismantle actual appliances. And he was excited, but bananas? Not really.

The girls on the other hand spent 45 minutes intensely focused on disassembling a sewing machine. They each found a spool of white thread forgotten in the depths of the machine and promptly pocketed them to "do something with later." They were like mad scientists.
We left shortly after a chemistry demonstration scared the heck outta them. Small room + loud chemical reaction = unhappy Salad. R and I took them out for Mexican food on our way home and the 3 of them formulated a plan to blow up lots of balloons to decorate for the "birthday party" when we got home. Whose party, I wondered? Nobody's, they answered mysteriously.

They really got into it, asking for streamers and to make party hats. It kept them busy for well over an hour, playing so nicely that as a reward, I got out our party plates and lit a candle for them to blow out on their fruit bars.
Why can't peace always come this easily?

Oh well, off to sing happy birthday to nobody.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My funny Valentines

Lucky for me, Valentine's Day fell on a Monday, giving me the perfect reason to create themed Muffin Tins for lunch. Heart shaped PB & J sandwiches, strawberry flavored applesauce, dried cranberries, purple yogurt drink and 2 heart shaped marshmallows for dessert - I love me a theme.
After lunch, we were invited to a Valentine's Party at Miss Amy's. She had craft supplies and asked the playgroup kids to decorate a bag to store all of their Valentines. We sat around in a big circle and made the exchange. The Salad and I forwent the traditional written cards and opted for the more useful gift of homemade play dough (scented and dyed pink with kool-aid) stuffed into plastic hearts from the Dollar Store. We got quite a haul, including chocolate and lolly pops.

We headed home with our loot, to find a box of roses at the door from daddy. While the Salad took some quiet time, I drew each of them up a treasure map. If they followed the map correctly, there was a box of chocolate waiting at the end. Seriously, you would have thought we told them we were going to Disney World, they were so excited. It's so easy to see where that expression "childlike enthusiasm" comes from.
Happy Valentine's Day, my loves!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This is a family blog. I usually talk about the family that lives in this house with me, mostly my Salad. But today I wanted to talk about the rest of my family. My amazing, selfless, loving family.

My parents would do anything for their grand children. We spent the night at their house recently and I think my parents were more excited than the Salad. They made hot chocolate and popcorn while we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They spent the night being battered, as S thrashed around in bed between them. They got up early with them so I could sleep in, making eggs and pancakes for breakfast. My mom took them to the store to buy new paints, so I could shower in peace. My mom helped them build and decorate a fort made from cardboard that my dad brought home from work for them. They go out of their way to make every second with my babies special.

My older sister heard that R was traveling for the week and immediately set about scheduling a dinner date with us. So on Friday night, we invaded their house, bringing with us battles about food, shrieks of laughter, a little girl who love to wrestle Unka By, a little boy who sees a new Hide and Seek zone, and another little girl who adores her 11 year old cousin. And they lovingly gave us their time, their chocolate chip cookies, and their best hiding places.

I invited myself and my litter of children to spend the night at my younger sister's house. They had activities planned that they knew my Salad would love, including having M help Uncle Pat build a work bench in the garage. That boy loves his tools. The girls put on make up and their princess clothes with Aunt Jo while I set them a tea party, with real tea in A's plastic tea set. They paid $8.00 to take my children on a 4 minute train ride from Downingtown to Thorndale. They restocked their pantry with all of our favorite foods. They bathed them and snuggled them through Finding Nemo. They rearranged furniture so we could all sleep together. Even Mugz was a gentle dog, thrilling M by sleeping at the foot of his sleeping bag.

I am so proud to be a part of this family. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving it to me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bike Gang

I love that our house is already the hangout for all the neighborhood kids. I hope it stays this way forever.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I say half full.

Some would say I was crazy to bring 3 - 4 year olds to an evening playdate. But R was out of town and I was looking for ways to entertain the Salad every second of every day, so when Miss Amy invited us to a make-your-own-pizza party, I jumped at the invitation. Of course, when I said yes, I couldn't have know that my children who normally sleep 12 hours a night (and need every minute of those 12 hours) would only have 9 hours the night before, due to a massively fun sleepover at Grammy and Poppy's.

Some would say I was a fool not to cancel our dinner plans.

I say, "Let's take a chance."

Some would say that 1 little girl peeing on the floor of the bathroom was an incident that would cause us to leave said party.

I say, "Here are some dry undies, now get on out there and keep having fun!"

Some would say a screaming match between a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl over a plastic stroller would bring the festivities to a screeching halt.

I say, "Hey! Who's up for a distracting game of hide and seek?"
See, some days it's all about whether your glass is half full or spilled all over the place.